EACC now targets wealth in war on graft

By: DENNIS ODUNGA

The anti-corruption commission has warned it will recover the assets of public officers found to have acquired wealth illegally.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chief executive Halakhe Waqo said they would hand over the property seized to the government.

Mr Waqo made the revelations at the commission’s offices after receiving wealth declaration reports from Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and other senior county staff.

The governor wrote to the EACC on November 2, requesting for a lifestyle audit of all Machakos county government staff.

“We will seize and liquidate those found culpable. The resources illegally acquired will be returned to the government through the normal channels,” said Mr Waqo, who was with Deputy CEO Michael Mubea.

He said the commission has been surrendering funds acquired through corrupt means to the National Treasury every year.

He cited a case in which the commission gave the National Treasury Sh74 million in one day, as part of its efforts to ensure those who accrue wealth illegally pay back.

“Each investigation has a bearing on wealth. If we investigate and find that an individual is culpable, we don’t stop at the behaviour. We go for the resources,” Mr Waqo said.

He said the commission had established that some officials have been using M-Pesa to transfer money that had been illegally obtained while others were investing the money in real estate. “There are individuals in the government who have been pushing millions of shillings through M-Pesa. To us, it speaks volumes,” Mr Waqo said.

Dr Mutua said his deputy, Bernard Kiala, had declined to submit the wealth declaration documents to the anti-corruption commission.

He warned that once the commission releases its report, staff with unexplained wealth would face immediate administrative action, which included being sacked.

“They will not be allowed to work,” he said.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION